S. Korean impeachment sales: Goodbye Park, hello free room

AP News
Posted: Dec 09, 2016 10:26 AM
S. Korean impeachment sales: Goodbye Park, hello free room

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — For many South Korean business owners, President Park Geun-hye's impeachment Friday was a moment to celebrate — with a sale.

A hotel in the harbor city of Busan put a banner outside saying that all of its rooms were free Friday to mark Park's suspension as president, pending a court ruling on whether to remove her permanently from office.

Mom-and-pop restaurants, coffee shops, a music shop and a clothing store were among businesses offering discounts.

Hong Young Tack, who runs a coffee shop in western Seoul, offered a $1 discount for his $5 cups of coffee.

"I wanted to share the good news with my guests," said Hong, 32, owner of Coffee No. A. "I wish this will lead to good luck in everything, a recovery in the economy and more guests for me so I can maintain this shop well."

As the influence-peddling scandal involving Park and a longtime confidante unfolded, South Korean consumer sentiment hit its lowest level in seven years in November.

The owner of a restaurant selling $2 rice rolls known as gimbap in western Seoul said she will sell them for 25 percent less until Saturday to celebrate. A group of food truck owners selling popular street food including spicy rice cakes offered free food on Saturday afternoon to celebrate.

One ramen restaurant owner was selling beer and ramen for 2,340 won, or about $2, because of the 234 lawmakers who voted in favor of impeachment.

"I was outside the National Assembly and we got 234 votes for impeachment. As someone who was there, I felt so good," said Lim Ki-min, 35, who owns the Mirara9 ramen store.